Nagpur News : The Hon’ble Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench, Nagpur comprising of Hon’ble Justice Vasanti Naik has quashed and set aside the order passed by the Commissioner of police u/s 162 of The Bombay Police Act 1951 as the same being illegal and arbitrary. The Hon’ble High Court has held that the petitioner was deprived of the “personal hearing” which is required to be given before taking the serious action of suspension of the “eating house licence” of the hotel.
It was the case of the petitioner Smt. Balbir kaur Padam that her licence to run the “eating house” for the well known hotel called as “Sanjha Chulha” was arbitrarily suspended by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nagpur on 29-11-2012 without giving the fair opportunity and personal hearing. The police had charged the hotel owner of violating the conditions of the “eating house licence” particularly violation of condition of playing music without entertainment licence and operating the hotel beyond specified time limit.
The petitioner was issued show cause notice on 06-10-2012 to which petitioner replied and stated that a family of guest was found to have been involved with the “cake” at 11.45 pm on 12-08-2012. The hotel was not involved in giving any services to the guests on the contrary winding activities were going on. The petitioner also replied to the notice that private party was organized by the event manager on 19-08-2012 in which food and beverages were served to the guest. There was no sale of wine or drugs or hukka to participants. The Deputy Commissioner of Police did not consider all these submissions and suspended the licence of eating house for 30 days.
It was alleged that the Deputy Commissioner of Police did not give copies of the documents along with the show cause notice. The petitioner was also not given “personal hearing” and hence the action is illegal and bad in law. It is well settled that when the action takes away the livelihood and there are serious civil consequences the authorities must give personal hearing. The petitioner relied upon the judgement passed by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court in 1996-CRLJ-3144 (Kana Nagu Mhatre Vs Assistant commissioner) in which it is held that principles of natural justice must be followed before taking away the livelihood of the petitioner infringing his fundamental right u/a 19 (1) (g) and 21 of The Constitution of India.
The petitioner tried to file the appeal before the Home Secretary in Mumbai but she was bluntly told that no hearing can be given even in appeal due to ongoing “Assembly Session”. The petitioner had no other option but to approach the Hon’ble High Court. The High Court came down heavily on the police officials during the hearing and held that the order of police is bad in law and quashed and set aside the order of suspension. The Hon’ble High Court also held that the Deputy Commissioner of Police may pass a fresh order after hearing the petitioner.
Adv. Tushar Mandlekar argued for the petitioner hotel owner and Adv. K. L. Dharmadhikari , AGP argued for the police authorities.